Flood Control Plans Debated

Newspaper Clippings

Washington Post July 31, 1972 Eugene L. Meyer Page C1 Image of Paint Branch accompanies the article. Caption reads “ Paint Branch will be widened, deepened and straightened if Army Corps of Engineers’ plan is put in effect.” Leonard Smith is quoted in giving his experience of flooding during tropical storm Agnes last month. A 30 year resident of Lakeland community of 147 Black and 30 white families between Paint Branch and Indian Creek. Enacting the Corp of Engineers plan would end the treat of future flooding. They would widen, deepen and straighten the waterways. Conservationist object charging the work would diminish the area’s natural beauty and fail to resolve the flooding problems. There is opposition between the theory that the national environment should not take priority over the built environment, businesses and homes. The more than 10 year old plan will be brought to the National Capital Planning Commission next week. The creeks are home to many types of small animals. The project is expected to cost about $900,000. A 1960s plan for the area would have lined the upstream banks with concrete. This has been changed to the use of rocks instead. Most of the land belongs to Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the rest would be purchased by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. The College Park Ecological Association representative Judy Comparetto expressed the desire for an option which would not harm the river. Those living near the creeks, government officials favor the Corp’s plan. Some argue that the work would create new problems downstream. To this College Park City Council Member Dougherty stated “The night of Agnes” “I stood down there and helped 147 families out of Lakeland, and I did not see a beaver, raccoon or eel or any of the ecologists or conservationists. However, I saw an awful lot of cold, frightened people” Mrs. Comparetto said “The only solution is to get those people to higher ground, and don’t develop where you know it will be flooded out”

Flood Control Plans Debated